Mainstream medicine continues to pour billions of dollars into the development of new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) — so far, without much success. Probably because they continue — time and time again — to ignore the wealth of natural approaches shown to prevent and reverse the disease.
Not to mention, they ignore the obvious evidence that taking multiple drugs — which is called “polypharmacy” — can cause serious cognitive dysfunction. And they mistake this drug-induced dementia for AD. With no effective test for AD in living patients, this mistake happens far too often.
Research shows that polypharmacy can cause serious cognition problems. Especially in older patients. And even more so, in older patients in poor health. They are particularly susceptible to the effects of taking multiple medications.
I vividly remember seeing older patients in the hospital with severe cognitive cloudiness. But we found that simply stopping one of their drug prescriptions ¾ even for a short time ¾ often led to a rapid return of mental clarity and gave them a new lease on life.
You may wonder how and why drugs cause mental cloudiness that so closely resembles AD?
For one, patients take more drugs than ever. In fact, when I was in medical training during the 1970s, doctors often placed older patients on up to nine different drugs. Today, that number has nearly doubled to 15 different drugs, as I recently reported in my Insiders’ Cures newsletter.
Second, as you age, your liver metabolizes drugs less efficiently. Your kidneys may excrete and eliminate drugs from the body more slowly as well.
So, over time, drugs can accumulate and turn toxic, leading to serious cognitive problems.
Knowing this common biological action, doctors should adjust prescriptions to lower doses. (Or maybe even just stop prescribing as many drugs in the first place!)
But in many cases, a lot of doctors won’t do a thing…
This blockbuster drug is a known culprit
About 12 years ago, I first learned about one specific type of drug toxicity from my friend and co-author, Dr. Mones Abu-Asab. At the time, he was a scientist working in the basic biology laboratory at National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Abu-Asab warned they were finding out that the new “blockbuster” drugs ¾ such as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs ¾ were poisoning mitochondria, your cells’ energy factories.
Mitochondria also generate water for hydration for all cells in the body. And many experts believe cognitive decline is a manifestation of mitochondrial damage. So ¾ for the statins, the drugs themselves cause mitochondrial damage!
And now, more recent case reports show patients who take common statin drugs experience “new-onset cognitive dysfunction.” They also experience deterioration of existing cognitive deficits. Furthermore, when the patients stop taking the drugs, the cognition returns and improves!
A dangerous drug pile-up
Of course, other drugs damage mitochondria as well. Including all kinds of psychiatric drugs and OTC pain medications, such as acetaminophen.
In fact, the list of drugs that can induce dementia-like symptoms reads like the Physician’s Desk Reference: anti-anxiety agents, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, cardiovascular drugs, corticosteroids, narcotics, and sedatives.
But the FDA doesn’t require information on mitochondrial toxicity for drug approval. So, there’s no way for doctors to know about these major risks before they start to prescribe the drugs to patients. And I’ve spoken personally to doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, for example, who’ve expressed grave concerns about this whole situation.
To support and protect your brain as you age, follow these simple rules:
- Follow the 7-year rule
Always wait at least seven years before taking a new-to-market drug. Thereafter, we’ll have some post-marketing surveillance (which the FDA requires) to see if some other side effects arise when millions of people take the drugs, versus just a few thousand during the FDA “approval” process.
- Opt for generic
If you must take a prescription drug, opt for an effective, older, generic drug. Often, they’re less expensive and have already been through the post-marketing surveillance process.
- Do your homework on drugs (and keep following mine)
Of course, I always advise against taking a statin drug, known to harm cognitive function.
Plus, Harvard University recently published a health advisory called “What’s causing your memory loss? It isn’t necessarily Alzheimer’s.” The advisory points to more than 50 conditions that can cause or mirror the symptoms of dementia.
- Carefully and closely monitor how many prescriptions you’re taking each day
I recently wrote about how you can avoid the dangers of polypharmacy in the February issue of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures. Check out my archives for the article, titled “A ‘medicine cabinet makeover’ could save your life.” (Not yet a newsletter subscriber? All it takes is one click!)
- Investigate natural options
Above all, I recommend learning more about the natural approaches you can take starting today to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in my online learning protocol, Dr. Micozzi’s Complete Alzheimer’s Cure.
As I explain in the Complete Alzheimer’s Cure, several key supplements can help boost your brain health (and overall health):
- South African rooibos: Take 400 mg a day to support your cellular mitochondria for superior energy and cellular hydration.
- Coenzyme–Q10 (CoQ10): Take 100 mg a day. This also has been shown to boost mitochondrial function.
- A high-quality B complex supplement: Take daily to improve cognitive function, cardiovascular health, and vision. Look for a product that includes at least 50 mg each of thiamine, riboflavin (B2), niacin/niacinamide (B6), and pantothenic acid, plus at least 200 mcg of folic acid/folate, 12 mcg of B12, and 100 mcg of biotin.
- Vitamin E: I recommend 2,000 mg a day. A recent study even demonstrated the power of this vitamin to be far superior to a common AD drug in dementia patients.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: I recommend 1,000 – 2,000 g per day from fish oil supplements — containing both EPA and DHA. These essential fatty acids are essential to nourishing the brain. Studies have also shown that DHA improves IQ as well as short- and long-term memory.
To obtain more information on these drug-free, cutting-edge strategies to prevent, treat, or even reverse Alzheimer’s, simply click here to learn more.
“Simvastatin-induced cognitive dysfunction: two case reorts,” J Med Case Rep. 2016; 10: 83
“Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease,” Molecular Nutrition and Food Research; 52(7):780-788